Naughty and nice
Local holiday-themed productions
Keep your “Bah! Humbug!” to yourself, and spend a little time with the local performing arts this season, as pretty much every troupe in town hits the boards with a special presentation focused on the Christmas season.
The big one, of course, is always Sacramento Ballet’s full-throttle production of The Nutcracker, which features roughly 500 local children (150 per performance). That’s the largest number of children dancing in any Nutcracker nationwide, according to Mimi Kent, Sac Ballet’s marketing director. They also use about 50 pounds of shredded paper snow at ever performance, which, according to Kent, often ends up in the performers’ mouths and is then “very elegantly hacked and spit out as they run offstage.”
Oh, and there’s some awesome dancing, whether it’s the adorable children or the 30 professional dancers used at each show. The production opens on December 10, with the final show at 7 p.m. on December 23.
More traditional holiday fare is on tap at the Sacramento Theatre Company’s production of A Christmas Carol, which includes a very awesome staging of Marley’s ghost face in Scrooge’s front door (and Marley’s ghost is played this year by one of SN&R’s resident film critics, Jim Lane). A Christmas Carol opens on December 1 and runs through December 26.
At Capital Stage, they’re taking the traditional Christmas fare and poking lots and lots of fun at it with Every Christmas Story Ever Told, a hilarious mash-up of everything from Dickens to Seuss—Dr. Seuss, that is. It previews this weekend and runs November 28 to January 1. And the Cap Stage folks double-down with a special radio-play presentation, in a limited run, of It’s a Wonderful Life, just in case you haven’t had enough inspiration for one season. There are only six performances of this classic, though, from December 19 to December 26, so buy tickets early.
For the do-wop fans, Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings has been saved from the ax by the folks at Sutter Street Theatre. Originally cast and set to go at Civic Theatre West in Roseville, the production was canceled when that venue suddenly closed. Sutter Street invited the boys in plaid to stage their Christmas show in Folsom, where they open this weekend with a thoroughly harmonic version of Christmas favorites.
Finally, the naughty, and you know it had to be the Lambda Players. They’ve got a quartet of one-act works by local playwrights: If the Sleigh’s A-Rockin’ (what won’t some men do for love?); Mother Dearest (if your mom’s like this one, Christmas is not a good time to come out); Christmas Balls (an ex comes to dinner and helps himself to seconds—of the current boyfriend); and A Holiday Story (they promised they’d marry each other if they were still single at 30—but he’s gay and not exactly single). It’s a dose of bawdy comedy that takes a raucous twist on seasonal fun. The show runs through December 18.